Creative Process With Dustin Lance Black

Posted: July 10, 2014 in Uncategorized
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While I was procrastinating enjoying some much needed and well earned reward time for being an awesome campnanowrimoer I came across the following video. Dustin Lance Black (who is apparently an Oscar winner but I don’t recognize him because I live under a rock) details how he goes about outlining his scripts. The process is amazing and overwhelming all at the same time. Go ahead, take a look.

I love what he has to say about his “vomit draft”. The first ten pages are something presentable that he wouldn’t be ashamed to share with someone and then the rest of the 100 pages he allows himself to write crap because he’s just regurgitating what he’s already imagined so many times. This is a brilliant point in regards to the first draft. Many writers fuss and tweak, unable to just let themselves put it all down.

That’s why NaNoWriMo is so fantastic for me. Do I still agonize over word choices? Sometimes. But because there’s a word count involved I can’t agonize too much because the words will never get done. For those of you keeping score at home I’m at a little over 6,000 words. According to word goals I should have over twice that much. In fact, I have about 10,000 words to make up to get back on track. This summer has been a lot rougher than last year. Last year I got up, wrote, and was done with it. Yes, I fell a bit behind on weekends, but I more than caught up by the end. This year…well, this year my schedule is a bit different. My dog is a big older and he’s decided he loves me more than ever before…or something like that. I wake up, eat, and the dog is immediately on me to go for a walk, which at his pace could take half an hour to an hour. This is not taking into consideration that even after the walk he is sometimes not sick of me yet and requires my full attention or he will not stop barking.

That and I had several family members in town during the first week and it had a serious impact on how much time I devoted to getting words down. I’m not blaming them. I love hanging out with them and treasured every minute. But my word totals took a serious hit. And here I am procrastinating further because I really wanted to share this with people who would find it equally cool. It’s a lot of work. That amount of detailed plotting and note card writing I am not capable of doing. I applaud Dustin for being able to do that because it is an amazing process. The whole idea of note cards put into stacks and then laid out is really appealing to me and no doubt works for many other writers out there. It just isn’t for me, despite my love of stationary. My brain just doesn’t work that way.

For those of you who are that kind of plotter I would love for you to share pictures of what that looks like for you. Are they small stacks laid out across a table? On the floor? Are the cards singular? What ways have you categorized and labeled them to get the most out of them?

On that note, I’m going to go get some actual writing done.


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